Adarsh-tainted Chavan gets support from MLAs, ex-Ministers

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Mumbai, Feb 3 (PTI) Congress MLAs from Maharashtratoday rallied behind former chief minister Ashok Chavan, whowas named in the Adarsh housing scam, saying they felt he was"victimised".

As many as 19 Congress MLAs were present at a luncheonmeet here organised by former minister Abdul Sattar, which wasalso attended by Chavan.

Sattar told reporters he had organised the lunchbecause he was vacating the official bungalow allocated to himas Minister.

"Ashok Chavan is a senior Congress leader and wefeel that he is being victimised," Sattar said.

Congress attendees included all seven from Chavan''shome district of Nanded, MLC Vijay Sawant, Minister of Statefor Medical Education D P Sawant and Independent MLAs AnilGonde and Suresh Jethlia.

Members of Ashok Chavan''s Ministry Ramesh Bagve, VijayWaddetiwar and Subhash Zanak were also present.

However, both Chavan and Sattar chose to downplay themeeting.

Chavan, named accused in the FIR filed by the CBIlast week, said he had just come to have lunch with the MLAs.

Many MLAs present said the issue of ownership of landon which the 31-storeyed Adarsh housing society buildingstands, should be clarified.

Later, Sattar, Waddetiwar, Zanak and Bagve met ChiefMinister Prithviraj Chavan to convey their "sentiments".

Waddetiwar told reporters that Chavan is a partyloyalist. "There is a general feeling among Congressmen thathe has been sidelined. We told the Chief Minister our views onthis," he said.

Leader of Opposition and BJP member Eknath Khadsedescribed the meeting as an internal matter of the Congress.

"The legislators just met over lunch. We do not readanything beyond that," MPCC spokesman Anant Gadgil said. PTISSG MR RSY

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